April 9, 2007


Zach Johnson no ordinary winner: The Iowa City native calls himself a 'normal guy,' stuns Woods for his first major title. His one-over 289 ties mark for highest score by Masters champion (Chris Dufresne, April 9, 2007, LA Times)

Zach Johnson made his own history Sunday and put Tiger Woods' history on hold.

Johnson compared it, biblically, to David's famous bump and run.

"As they say, the giant's got to fall at some point," he said.

With 1 Round Left, It's All Over: Everyone in Field On Wrong Side Of Par at Augusta (Leonard Shapiro, 4/08/07, Washington Post)

The wind was up, temperatures dipped into the 40s and scores continued to soar above par during the calamitous third round of the 71st Masters. Welcome to golf's newest reality show: "Survivor: Augusta National."

Even Tiger Woods, the most resourceful player in the modern game, eventually succumbed. After crafting 16 holes of mostly brilliant play, the No. 1 player in the world bogeyed his final two holes for the second time this week in what he later described as "one of the hardest rounds I think I've ever played here."

But in the end, it didn't matter. All Woods had to do was wait about 90 minutes after his third round had ended, and almost everyone ahead of him had backed up to about where he wanted them. He will enter Sunday's final round only a shot off the 54-hole lead held by Australian Stuart Appleby, who made triple bogey at the 17th hole yet still shot 73 for a 2-over total of 218.

A Mother's Words of Wisdom (Thomas Boswell, April 8, 2007, Washington Post)
We've gone from green jackets to straitjackets at the Masters. Why interview the winner in Butler Cabin? Just rent a rubber room. On Saturday, as the field scoring average soared to 77.35, this Masters went through the looking glass into golf as farce, where what matters most is luck. And even that's not enough. So cross your fingers for a Sunday that makes any sense at all.

For a symbol of this Masters that has suddenly and accidentally gone insane, we take you into the gallery beside the second fairway at Augusta National. There, Kultida Woods, mother of the Tiger, sat with her hands in white socks for makeshift mittens. Bundled up against the chill on a 48-degree afternoon with a stiff gusting wind, she drank straight from the bottle -- Robitussin, that is. Down on the green, her son laboriously studied a 35-foot birdie putt while his galleries shivered, some in blankets.

"Just make your par," muttered Tida, "and get the hell out of here."

Five Young Players To Watch (TONY DEAR, April 4, 2007, NY Sun)

Adam Scott, 26

Scott comes into the Masters brimming with confidence following his win at the Shell Houston Open last weekend. On a course set up to mimic the challenge of Augusta National -- fast greens, inch and a half long rough, shaved slopes, etc. -- Scott shot a four round total of 271 (17 under par) to hold off the challenge of countryman Stuart Appleby. Striking the ball better than he has all year, the Aussie averaged 302 yards off the tee and hit almost 86% of greens in regulation during the final 36 holes, not one of which did he bogey. Scott has played in the last five Masters and made the cut four times, with the tie for ninth he recorded in his debut still his best finish. In 18 rounds at Augusta, he has never broken 70, and his scoring average of 73.17 needs considerable improvement if he is to contend. But after last week's showing and on a course that, theoretically, should suit him down to the ground, he must rank among the favorites. [...]

Charles Howell III, 27

After miserable opening rounds of 80 and 84 a year ago, the Augusta native comes back to the course he first played as a 10-year-old with a lot to prove. Last year he arrived having finished no higher than T-33rd in his first nine starts, but this year he already has a win, two seconds, and two more top-10s under his belt. He thus arrives at Augusta National ranked no. 15 in the world and better prepared mentally than he ever has been. Despite his remarkably slender frame, Howell has become something of a wayward bomber in the Tiger Woods, Vijay Singhmold with an average drive of 300.7 yards (up 12 yards since 2004 and 9th on Tour) that finds the fairway just 53.61% of the time (170th). Missing the short grass that often probably won't hurt him at Augusta as much as it would at the U.S. Open, and his length off the tee will certainly help. Perhaps more significant is the improvement he has made to his putting -- up from 185th to 33rd in the rankings.

via Jeff Mann:

1)Choose 3 players, lowest aggregate wins.

2)If one of your players misses the cut, you're out.

3)No duplicate threesomes, in case of a duplicate, the entry post with the earlier time stamp is official, later entries are out.

4) One entry per person.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 9, 2007 8:39 AM

Don't know of any. None of the golf sites are. The way you did the PGA Championship worked fine.

1)Choose 3 players, lowest aggregate wins.

2)If one of your players misses the cut, you're out.

3)No duplicate threesomes, in case of a duplicate, the entry post with the earlier time stamp is official, later entries are out.

4) One entry per person.

Just a thought.

Woods, Singh, Olazabal

Posted by: jeff at April 4, 2007 8:17 AM

Assuming Jeff's suggestion holds:

Woods, Mickelson, Olazabal

Posted by: JR at April 4, 2007 9:51 AM

Mickelson, Els, Singh

Posted by: Benjamin at April 4, 2007 10:01 AM

Singh, Mickelson, Woods

Posted by: John Barrett Jr. at April 4, 2007 10:17 AM

Woods, Mickelson, Scott

Posted by: Patrick H at April 4, 2007 11:44 AM

Els, Woods, Mickelson

Posted by: Bartman at April 5, 2007 7:56 AM

Woods, O'Meara, Allenby

Posted by: Mike Morley at April 5, 2007 9:09 AM

Woods, Singh, Howell.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at April 5, 2007 9:16 AM

Mickelson, Woods, Garcia

Posted by: Matt Cohen at April 5, 2007 11:02 AM

Tiger, Furyk, Howell

Posted by: oj at April 5, 2007 11:55 AM

Vijay that is, not the other fellow.

(Not a good start from Lefty. He's showing that form that endeared him to the fans at the Ryder Cup last fall -- the fans of Europe, that is.)

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at April 5, 2007 12:55 PM

woods, harrington, els.

Posted by: des harte at April 5, 2007 12:56 PM

Lefty at 6+ through 14! It's a massacre out there folks. It's Ireland all over again.

On the plus side, at least he's shooting better than Larry Mize and Gary Player -- and he's got some company in O'Meara and Els.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at April 5, 2007 2:25 PM

Day one leaderboard:

221 - Jeff
222 - Jim in Chicago
223 - JR, John Barrett Jr., Patrick H, OJ
225 - Matt Cohen
227 - Bartman
228 - Benjamin, Des Harte
229 - Mike Morley

Very tight. No reason for anyone to despair, remember that the cut is not the top 1/2 but all players within 10 strokes of the lead. One odd thing, not one even par or sub-par round in the contest's first round.

Posted by: jeff at April 5, 2007 9:01 PM

Day 2 Leaderboard:

441 - Jeff, John Barrett Jr.
444 - Jim in Chicago
445 - JR, OJ
448 - Patrick H

Missed Cut: Matt Cohen(Garcia), Bartman(Els), Mike Morley(Allenby, O'Meara), Benjamin(Els), Des Harte(Els).

If Zach Johnson doesn't bogey 16,17 & 18 OJ, Jim and Patrick would have been gone as well. Howell and Scott came in on the number.

Posted by: jeff at April 6, 2007 7:20 PM

I was going to try and pretend that I'd meant David Howell, but then he went at shot 8 over par on Saturday.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at April 7, 2007 5:27 PM

Day 3 Leaderboard

665 John Barrett Jr.
668 JR, OJ
669 Patrick H
670 Jeff, Jim in Chicago

Very tight. Should be exciting tomorrow.

Posted by: jeff at April 7, 2007 9:17 PM

Final Leaderboard:

887 - John Barrett, Jr.
888 - OJ
889 - Jim in Chicago
890 - Patrick H
892 - Jeff
894 - JR

Congrats to John and to Zach Johnson for keeping it together on the back 9.

Posted by: jeff at April 8, 2007 5:48 PM

Send your address John & we'll send a book.

Posted by: oj at April 8, 2007 7:09 PM